tv Democracy Now LINKTV February 25, 2013 8:00am-9:00am PST
funding for this program was provided by... every child ispecial. every child has needs. woman: change colors. but what do we do when we're faced with the challenge of working with children who because of physical or emotional or developmental problems require much more specialized, individualized attention than the other children in our care? woman: there you go. go for it. turn.
hello. i'm joanne hendrick, the author of the whole child and your guide to this video series. in this program, we're going to explore a number of ways we can effectively work with children with special and exceptiol needs. we'll observe children in a variety of programs: head start, family day-care homes, university schools, and private childcare centers. we'll also talk with teachers who will share their personal experiences working with children who have special needs. [computer beeps] woman: yes. press again. press again, des. keep pressing. keep pressing. [computer makes tone] oh, look, des, look! pretty. hendrick: how do we begin to help that child? what are our responsibilities, obligations, and expectations? when working with children witdisabilities or special needs,
how do we define achievement? [comter beeps] ooh, look! color blue. [computer hums] see? there you go. let's see you do it. hendrick: how do we challeng and support the child so he can succeed? let's eat. let's eat. ha ha ha! take it to your mouth. no, not look at it. take it toour mouth. good girl. lay it down. good job, monica. hendrick: and what do we do to balance the exceptional needs of some of the children with the needs and requirements of all the other children in our care? woman: you're doing some good swinging, monica. and blue. miguel, i have yellow. hendrick: this child has a special need. so does this child... i'm going to let you have some... and this little one.
you are so good today. when most of us think of children with exceptional or special needs, the first thing that comes to mind is someone with obvious physical, emotional, or developmental handicaps or disabilities. catch the handles. good girl. whoop! whoa. there you go. go for it. hendrick: and in many cases, the needs of the children in our care will be apparent and obvious to us. turn. go to the door. but sometimes, difficulties take a while to show up. because we caregivers see children for such extended periods of time and we've known so many children, may be the first to recognize signs that a child may need more help and more support. notice how this teacher is observing and taking notes. it's very important for us to recognize learning challenge early, because early identification and proper intervention means that physical, emotional, or developmental conditions
may be cleared up entirely, or at least the effect of the condition can be minimized. [humming] but nothing can be done, no individualized plan or program can even begin to be put into place, till the child is correctly identified as having a special need. thank you. thk you. thank you for coming in today for your conference, and i just wanted to start out maybe getting... hendrick: as you can imagine, calling a parent's or family member's attention to problems in the classroom requires extreme delicacy and tact. this is particularly true if we're raising the issue of a child's behavioral problem in the group. however, there are sevel things we can do to reduce the defensive reactions of both the family members and en ourlves.
i was hoping i could modify one so that if she doesn't have the language skills, she can at least nonverbally be able to do the objectives. man: how old is she? i think she's almost 2. the first step is to seek out an experienced colleague or fellow staff member for confirmation that there is, indeed, a problem. remember, this should be a professional colleague, not just a friend or acquaintance. the privacy of the family must be kept intact at all times. thanks for coming and joining me today to talk about your beautiful little girl. we've had a fantastic day today, so that we'll have lots to tell you. i've got a list of things he. herick: second, before raising the issue with the family, you'll have to justify your concern. make sure you have specific documented reasons and examples why you think the child may need special help. this does not mean that we should confront the parents
with a long, unhappy list of grievanceagainst the child. it just means we should be prepared for the task of gently and clearly explaining to the family the reasons for our concern. there's a list of things. it's called a preconference rent questionnaire that you will probably be getting the end of next semester--like, maybe in november. hendrick: third, think about how to raise the issue of the problems gradually. this is important because it takes a while for families to accustom themselves to the fact that their cld may need special help. when i look at rosie in the classroom, she's always engaged. she's always intensely involved in whatever she's doing, usually playing with other kids. she's very sociable. she's very intense. yeah. hendrick: fourth, describe the behavior you see in the classroom, but do not try to diagnose the cause. it's not our place to diagnose. "and then the chameleons wore--" boy: i can't see. i'm sorry. why don't turn the page so that you can?
jordan bentley, i'm going to stop for a minute. it's very hard for me to read when you are talking. you may sit on miss kathleen's lap, or you may join snack-- one or the other. jordan: snack. woman: ok. why don't you go wash your hands? hendrick: remember, a particular behavior can have many different causes, and it takes a trained professional to determine the reason for what is going . for example, failure to pay attention at story time may be the consequence of a hearing loss, inappropriate reading material, borderline intelligee, fatigue, poor eyesight, or simply needing to go to the toilet. we had a child in our program that, yoknow, had some serious behavioral problems, and i felt that there was a need for an assessnt. i felt that the child could be autistic. and, you know, this is obviously a devastating thing for a parent to have to deal with and to accept, and so i dealt with that as compassionately as possible,
and it took a long tim for the pares of this child to be able to accept that, you know, that this was a reality, first, and that there was a need for the child to be evaluated and to be referred for services. and i also stressed that it was good for the child to be in this program and that it was appropriate and that we cared about this family, both the child and the rent. and so, after a while, ere was is feeling of trust that we established, ich is--something that's very important is establishing trust wi parents. you know that, yes, you are operating out of concern for my child, and you are not fiing him just a difficult person that y want to shuffle off somewhere else. and after a while, this parent was able to accept
that this was sothing that was necessary, and i'm happy to say that she did seek help for him. but breaking the news about a possible problem is not enough. we not only have to know how to approach the family with sensitivity, we must also know how to refer them to the proper resources. so, where do you find a good specialist? how do you know which referral is best? of course, the family physician is an excellent place to start. another important referral resource is whichever state agency administers the individuals with disabilities education act, often called i.d.e.a., or idea. if you don't know who that is, your local school district or county public health nurse can easily tell you how to reach that agency. woman: alexandra, why are you being shy this morng? while the referral and follow-up is taking place, the most important thing we can do for the child is to remain in friendly, unobtrusive contact with the family.
this is important so they don't feel rejected and also to encourage them to communicate with you about the referral process. shall we count like we did last time-- how long it takes your mom to go to the car? there is o more point to remember when making a referral. it can be very tempting to pick up the phone and talk to the specialist about your concern, but here again, we must observe the highest professional ethics. this means that we must obtain the parent's consent before talking to the specialist. and of course, we must never talk about the child or family to other families at the center or to personal friends. to recap the steps involved in rerring children for special help, remember these points: the first step is to seek out a colleague or fellow staff person for a confirmation that there is, indeed, a problem. second, make sure you have specific reasons and examples
why you think the child may need special hel third, raise the issue of problems gradually with parents over a period of time. fourth, describe the behavior you see to the family, but don't propose the cause. it's not our place to diagnose. and finally, refer the family to the appropriate agency and remain in friendly contact with them. ofte children with special needs demonstrate their coition soon after birth. but because infants with disabilities have the same basic needs as other babies, it may be more difficult and harder to read their cues. [crying]
come here. come here. hey, hey. [crying stops] that's why it's so important that we learn how to observe each child carefully and try to figure out what they're saying through their crying, fussiness, or other behavior. you getting hungry? ok, ok. let's go get your bottle. when i see a child crying or squirming, at can mean so many different things. it can mean, "boy, i have a wet diaper," or "i'm tired" or "feed me," and i think my role as a teacher, i need to figure out what does this child need. i need to explore and help this child out-- either change the diaper or warm up a bottle or maybe cuddle them and put some music on and maybe put them to bed. hendrick: there was a time when physically, emotionally, or developmentally challenged children either were taught at home or in special schools.
now, because of federalaws such as i.d.e.a.-- the individuals with disabilities education act-- and the a.d.a.--americans with disabilities act-- an increasing numb of young children with disabilities are being enrolled in regular childcare centers. a primary benefit of integrating children with special needs into typical early childhood settings is that all the children learn to accept differences. also, is integration provides children with disabilities more normalized experiences and chances to socialize. while these are important benefits, it'slso important to recognize that such youngsters require special services as well. states are obligated by law, in most cases, to provide that help. provision of these services varies from community to community. sometimes the physical therapist, the speech therapist, or the hearing therapist visits and works in the classroom, or sometimes, the child works separately with them.
however help is provided, teacher and specialist need to draw on one another's strengths and information to do their very best. woman: very good! take it out! put it on the circle! yeah! when including a child with a disability in a group, we may feel uncomfortable about hw little we know concerning the child's special condition. that's why we need access to specialists, but we also have a valuable contribution to make: that is, to treat the child like the other children as much as possible while at the same time using common sense about what's reasonable to expect. all children have a lot in common, no matter what their disability. they need affection, reasonable expectations, the opportunity to play, to experience as much physical exercise as possible, and the opportunity to belong to a group and have friends. the teacher who sees beyond the disability to the typical child inside offers that child a wonderful opportunity to develop fully.
in the total environment-- early childhood environment-- yore really treating all children the same. they are children, and they need the same things that all children need. then the differences are for that specific handicap that a child might have. so if they're hearing impaired, we would be sitting them in the front. or visually impaired-- would have a lot of tactile, hands-on touching materials for a child who was visually impaired. we would do a lot of talking for the visually impaired child to supplement what they can't see--extra talking. for the emotionally impaired child, we're going to be explaining other people's actions to them so that they can better understand why people react to them the way they do when they blow up or do the thing that's the problem for them. but in terms of activities that you provide and how you talk to them, in terms of what you're expecting of them, it's very similar for whether they're a special needs child or a "normal" child.
all children need the same things. they need to feel good out themselves. they need to feel safe and comfortable and eager to try things an environmen that won't criticize them when they try things. all children need that, so there's no difference. look what i have. i have pink. you don't want the pink one? how about the blue, miguel? no. hendrick: in every group of youngsters, there are some who apparently learn slower than others. likewise, there are some youngsters who learn faster. slower learning is sometimes called mental retardation. it ranges from extreme to mild lags in development. the flexibility in today's early chidcare centers means that many mildly and moderately delayed children can, with a little extra effort on our part, fit quite comfortably into the group. when working with children who are moderately delayed learners, there are some basic principles to remember.
woman: roll it. see if you can add it and roll it. moderately delayed children particularly need... ...asking you if tommy is at home or at school. is he here? yeah. he is? ok. so he's at school. tommy, please stand up. all right. tommy is here. yeah! kendrick: be sensitive when you talk about the child, her disability, or anything else that could upset young children. remember, these children are just as sensitive to the emotional climate around them as ordinary children are. say it a little louder. [whispering] hello. woman: a self-image is important to all children. good job. ok, tommy. you can sit down. good job. all human beings, not only special eds children--
first of all, before we can accomplish anything in life, we need to know who we are and what we are. so it may seem that because my children are so young we shouldn't be teaching those things, but to develop a child into being a whole child, you need to start with the developmental process very young. our children need-- we need to start developing good self-images: who you are, what you are, and where you're going. they don't know where they're going, but we should know where they're going, and that's exactly what we work on here at poe. kendrick: in teaching moderately delayed children, it's important that we realize it may take longer and more repetitions, so don't get discouraged that you have to teach something several times. take it easy. use short directions, and teach one thing at a time. encourage the child to use speech whenever possible. but don't rely on just telling her something. to help her truly understand,
let's show the child what we mean whenever we can by modeling it and demonstrating it. it's very important to talk to the children. i have one son myself, and i believe to talk with the children, you start them to respond early. was talking to him from the day he was born, and he started to talk long before he was one years old. i incorporate the talking here because i know you get some response from it, and eventually they will talk. some will talk. if not, they can coo to everything-- coo or babble to everything that you say and let you know whether it's a yes or no. however, we do have some other devices that help with the yes and no-- our communication augmentative devices. we use them a lot of times, and you've seen me use them in my classroom, whereas, i may ask the child and he may push a button, and the button may say yes for him. he knows yes from no.
we start to teach those things very early on. would you like some potatoes? [crying] you want juice? you want juice? juice? ha ha ha ha! ok. kendrick: independence is an important goal. let's make sure we don't overprotect children with special needs. be reasonable, but provide as many chances as you can for her to do things for herself. decide what you think is most important for the child to learn and concentrate on teaching those skills. but after a fair trial at something new, if she can't seem to learn it, drop the activity without scolding her and try it again in a few months. and of course, don't forget to look for opportunities to show the child you're pleased with her and that you like her. and remember, you have the option of consulting a specialist if nothing seems to work. specialists can frequently offer valuable suggestions and support.
en you have children in a class who are, some of them, developmentally delayed, some of them are considered normal development, and some of them, i suppose, who are doing better than that-- we consider, well, they might be gifted; we're not sure yet-- but you want to challenge a child wherever he is, so it really doesn't matter what you label him. you start where he is, and then you go from there. so when you have open-ended kinds of activities in an early childhood classroom where there isn't a one right answer, where there are many ways to do things and all those ways are appreciated-- "that's your way of solving this problem"-- then you can meet the needs of a child who is either functioning little bit more slowly or a little bit more quickly. the child who is growing more quickly might be reading some of the words in the story or might want to make a book and tell the story to me, and i would write it down for him, and he would want to illustrate it and read it to a frid, whereas the other child is scribbling on a paper, but he would like to hear the story that the other child is doing for him. you can meet all those needs in one classroom.
you just need to focus in on each particular child and take them where they are. what do we see? a triceratops! how do we know that's triceratops? his horns are growing. that's what's different. man: see? very good. look at the mommy triceratops. she has some sharp, sharp... kendrick: although children who learn slowly have received our attention for several decades, it is only in the past few years that intellectually gifted preschoolers have received any attention at all. man: one is very big, and one is small. hendrick: some indications that a child may be intellectually gifted include using more elaborate, extended language, grasping ideas with exceptional ease, possessing an unusual amount of general information for their age, and liking to discuss subjects in depth. they may also be more sensitive to social values than their peers are, and are often almost insatiably interested in special subjects that appeal to them. perhaps, because we have resisted attempts for so long to push intellectual and cognitive learning on preschoolers
before they're ready, it's real easy for us to overlook the special needs for information and stimulation these gifted youngsters have. we're cheating them when we deny them that help just as much as we're depriving slow learners when we don't take time to meet their needs. here are some practical tips for adding interest to the lives of gifted children. encourage them to investigate how things work and pursue their unique interests. build additional language skills by reading more advanced books and talking with them about their favorite subjects. offer more complex materials or advanced information. above all, use teaching methods that foster problem-solving and encourage the development of creative ideas. working with exceptional children and children with special needs can be a very challenging experience. it can even be discouraging at times. one week, we may make real progress,
and then, suddenly, the child backslides. this comes with the territory and shouldn't be a cause for despair. it doesn't mean we failed or we didn't do our job. if the child progressed once, she'll do it again. when teaching children with special needs, it's important to remember what our main purpose is: to focus on the strengths of the child and not on his disabilities. and of course, it always helps to remind ourselves that we aren't alone, that we don't have to do all the work ourselves. we are part of the team consisting of the child... man: you ready? continuing the family legacy. hendrick: the family... it's like a sorority. anybody want to help me start? the specialists... come on, tamyra. and the teacher. one last word about special needs. while we give extra attention to our children who are faced with obvious and apparen special circumstances,
let's not forget that all children, able or disabled, healthy or unhealthy, typical or not, have the special need to be respected, paid attention to, to be cuddled and coaxed and encouraged, to be told and shown how important and valued they are and how lucky we are just to have them in our classroom. i'm joanne hendrick. see you next time on the whole child. narrator: young children are often quick to tell us "it's mine." in the world of a preschooler, not everyone shares. but children can learn a t about cooperation and resolvg conflicts if we know how to encourage getting along together-- next time on the whole child. use your words next time, ok? is that green? miguel. grn? miguel. that's real good cutting.
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i think it breaks a little to the left. uh-uh. to the right. nope. straight. girl: come on! i told you it was going right. ♪ get up, get up, get up ♪ and be a playah ♪ get up, get up, get up ♪ get up, get up, get up ♪ and be a playah players: get up and play. an hour a day. announcer: for fun play-time ideas, go online-- just don't stay long. ♪ get up, get up, get up
funding for this program was provided by... you said you wanted that shirt. now, wear it. woman: ian gets to decide what he wants to wear. joanne hendrick: childhood is a time for learning... woman: there. thank you. a time for children to learn about themselves and how to get along with others. child: come on! and the success with which they learn social skills affects their success in making friends, developing relationships, and feeling good about themselves throughout their lives. child: yeah, 'cause i could drink it all up!
hello. i'm joanne hendrick, author of the whole child and your guide to this video series. in this program, we're going to look at the social development of young children and identify some age-appropriate social goals we can work towards with them. we'll also learn some effective teaching methods which can help our children acquire the necessary social skills that will servthem throughout life. we will observe children in a number of different settings-- head start, family day care homes, univerty schools, and private child care centers-- and we'll listen to their teachers as they describe how they foster social competency in their children. woman: aaron would like a turn. aaron wants a turn to ring the bell.
aaron: uh-oh. uh-oh. great ringing. thanks for sharing. hendrick: as caregivers, we play a crucial role in helping young childre figure out the puzzle of social behavior as well as another major task of early childhood... woman: charlie wants a turn tring the bell. wow! it's loud. hendrick: how to form satisfying relationships with others. and how do we do that? how can we help our children develop into cooperative, kind, and well-liked individuals? woman: thanks a lot, charlie, for sharing. hendrick: social competence is the ability to get along effectively with other people. when we see children playing comfortably together, it's more than just a sweet picture. research has shown thathe way children relate to other children contributes to social and mental development and generally to the ability to function well in later years.
in fact, the best way to predict whether or not a child will blossominto a t is noto look at school grades or classroom behaviors but to consider instead how at child gets along with other children. our challenge in this program is to learn how to help each child begin to develop into a socially competent person, a person who can express his own feelings and empathize with others' feelings, be cooperative, generous, and kind, and develop satisfying relationships with others. probably the most important thing for children to learn to do at school is how to get along happily and easily with other people, both adults and childr. t this learning takes a long time, sometimes an entire lifetime. it's so easy for us to get caught up in making sure our little ones pass such milestones as learning their colors, their abcs, and their numbers,
but there's more to development than these kinds of skills. as caregivers, we can also play an important role in developing a child's personality and even his or her character. [baby cooing] that's right. that's right. hendrick: attachment-- when an infant exhibits a strong preference and love for his or her caregiver-- is the foundation for learning social competency. n you see why this is true and how this kind of connection and bonding between adult and infant is so important? woman: come here. [crying] when a baby expresses his or her needs and the adult responds appropriately, the baby and adult are communicating together. the baby is being responded to, and she begins to secure that her needs will be met. an infant who is securely attached to his caregiver can use that adult as a base from which he can venture into the world. oh, the baby might cry at first when left by his mother, but if he's attached to the caregiver, he's able to recover soon
and then become actively involved in exploration of the immediate environment and the other people in his or her world. imagine what might happen if a child has not completely bonded or attached to its parent or primary caregiver. what impact do you think this lack of early attachment and bonding might have on your own ability to nurture the child when she's left in your care and how and where can we even begin to compensate? there is much we can do to help the children in our care form healthy early attachments, but it takes a serious commitment. communication with babies especially does not happen overnight. first of all, we can use simple caregiving tasks such as diapering and feeding as an important time for interaction and communication with each baby, not just as un unpleasant job to be rushed through. we can be warm and caring and most importantly, consistent with the babies in our care. and finally, it is very important that we maintain
open and consistent communication with parents and other primary caregivers. take a look at what's happening in this classroom. what do you see? how is this teacher helping her children learn? as adults, we often forget how important imitation is to children, and we spend more time telling our youngsters what to do rather than showing them through our actions. let's teach by doing. for children, actions speak louder than words. so we should try to model the behavior we wish to encourage, rather than just talking about it. woman: that's 50. every time we say "please" to a child or every time we lend a helping hand, woman: who bought we're tethe popsicles?n how we'dthank you. to act. beep--beep--beep. there's your change. good-bye. should we put them back in here for you? ok
thank you, gabrielle. thank you for putting them away. woman: it's very difficult again at this age because they're very egocentric, and it's a process. another way is to y, "oh, so-and-so needs your help. "look what happened when you bumped into him. let's go help him, ok?" if it's a problem with someone accidentally getting bumped in the face or with an object if they're spinning around or turning around or whatever and you say, "i know you didn't mean to do that. what can you do to help him feel better or her feel better?" and you try and give them suggestions if they can't come up with something. "maybe you can rub the hurt away." things like that. again it's modeling the language as well as the behavior for them, until it becomes more... easier and something that's more readily available to them. it may not he been a part of their experience in the past
to do something like that, so we have to provide it for them. can you say it louder? hello? hello. oh, just tommy, marvin... hendrick: our challenge is to pay more attention to behaviors we like and less attention to behaviors we don't like. in other words, it's more effective to focus on the positive than on the negative. good job of coming, though. ok, tommy, you can sit down. tommy did a good job of coming up here. hendrick: look forhe things yo children are doing right and find opportunities to comment on those. in addition to modeling behavior for children, what else do you think we can do to help our children learn to get along? once again, communication is the key. we can let our children know which behaviors we approve of and which we don't approve of in a number of different ways, sometimes subtly, sometimes directly. how and when we react to a child's behavior
is part of something we call "active teaching." woman: come on. slow down. you're being a good little helper, but you are just too st. active teaching means giving attention and praise to children in ways that enhance their sense of satisfaction from within-- communicating favorably on specific things they do well, not just lavishing indiscriminate praise on them. let's watch this child do something really positive, and thenet's ask ourselv how we might acknoedge the act in such a way that the child feels really good about the deed, rather than because the child did something that pleased us. never underestimate the power of play when it comes to teaching youngsters how to get along with each other. woman: put it in there again, antoine, and look at this. watch this. look right here. see this?
hendrick: active teaching means providing plenty of opportunities for children to play together. shh! children learn from other children, so we need to give them plenty of opportunities for play and interaction among themselves. play is more than just a cute activity or a way to keep them busy. play is one of the most important ways children learn about and explore how to behave with other people. girl: you said you wanted that shirt. now, wear it. woman: ian gets to decide what he wants to wear, just like you picked that pretty white dress for wearing. hendrick: active teaching means providing good examples and role models for children. how many of us have had to deal
with this type of behavior in our classroom? how do we go about our active teaching when childn are acting in ways we don't like? boy:et out of our way! it takes a lot of patience on our part to help them develop the ability to wait a minute, to control their feelings a little, and when necessary, to consider the rights of others. rkee! harkee! harkee! dee! hadee woman: what kind of hands do we use? hadee. what kind of hands, gavin? hendrick: notice how thiseacher is handling what could have been a very difficult situation. stop doing that. thank you for using your words. hendrick: how would you have dealt with it? what would you have done? what would you have said to resolve the conflic woman: your friends are going to be at the picnic table. look. see them all at the picnic table? they're waiting for you. hendrick: conflict resution isn't only about defusing a problem. it's also about allowing all the participants a chance to express their feelings.
for example, if a child's having a hard time waing for a rn on the swing, we can talk with her, rather than simply repeating the rule-- "you have to wait till rosie's done." it's so reassuring to a child when an adult says something li, "i know you've been waiting a long time, "and you're dying for a turn, "but you'll need to wait till rosie's done. maybe you could ride on the trike while you're waiting." do you see the diffence betwe simply reciting the rules and acknowledging the child's feelings? can you think of other ways you can help a child learn how to develop the ability to wait a minute, to control their feelings a little, and, when necessary, to consider the rights of others? what would you say? what would you do? we can model and teach actively until we're blue in the face, but some issues are still tougher to resolve than others. child: no! you've got to share. woman: you have to share. he's going to mess up my horsie! woman: ok, he's going to have some.
you can sit over here. sit over here so you can.. hendrick: for example, sharing is always a big issue with our youngsters. certainly we want all children to learn to share, but taking turns is very different from really sharing, sharing from the heart. olivia? [child coughs] look. let me open it. hendrick: often teachers establish policies to regulate turn-taking such as... "you can each use it for 5 minutes," or... "ride the trike around the circle once more, and then it's karen's turn." what do you think that really teaches children? today, out on the playground, a little boy, ryan, was basically riding a bike, and one of the other little boys in the classroom wanted the bike and instead of asking ryan if he could have a turn... grabbed the bike and yanked ryan off the bike.
so going over there-- of course, ryan came running, crying to me, and what we did was go back and bring both of the children together and talked about it and said, "ok, ryan, what do you need to say to this little boy?" and ryan used his words and said, you know, "i had the bike, i was using it, and i'm not finished." and we told the other little boy, "well, what can we do," you know, "if you really want to ride the bike and ryan's not finished?" and then the little boy told ryan that he would like a turn. "can i have a turn when you're done, please?" so a lot of that is... said alone by the kids, but a lot of it needs some adult supervision, and sometimes you have to give the words to the kids. woman: there's green frog, a black sheep... hendri: our goal is for childn to be able to getlong and resolve their problems among themselves, not to rely on adults to constantly referee
and make decisions for them. ke a look at this classroom. what do you see? wh's different about this situation? do you notice how well the children are getting along, even though the teacher has turned her attenton to another activity? our challenge is to create a climate of kindness and generosity so that children can work together and ben to take responsibility for each other. but how do we do that? where do we begin to teach such young children how to share from the heart and not because we want em to? boy: ooh! this don't go right there. girl: where? girl: no, this goes... first all, we can talk with our children about being generous with each other. point out that it makes the other person feel happy and makes you feel good, too. we can encouge acts of generosity throughout the day. we can be generous ourselves in providing enough satisfying experiences and marials for the children.
then perhaps we can allow the children to make their own decisions about the use and sharing of equipment. it's not always easy, but we can also make as many efforts as we can to put the decision-making power within the child rather than try to control the youngster through teacher regulation and time-keeping. learning to share from the heart, rather than ordering them to share, is so important because it internalizes generous feelings. there's so much we can do to help that process along. we can make sure there are enough equipment and toys to go around. man: you want to wear the necklace? ok. man: did you take a look in the mirror, leo? did you see yourself in the mirror? who's that? hendrick: let the children use toys and equipment
until they feel ready to pass it on to someone. coming back over on me. would you like a turn with the bike? gavin! marl, can joel have a turn when you're finished? yes. ok. let's let marlee finish her turn, ok? thank you. hendrick: point out that another child is waiting and has waited a long time. woman: very good. thanyou, christine. boy: thank you. girl: he said thank you. hendrick: ways be on the lookout for when generous behavior occurs and comment favorably. woman: charlie. say "mine. that's mine." [crying] yeah. she's really sad, charlie. i'm worried about that. hendrick: and talk openly with children about sharing from the heart and about being generous towards others. woman: oh, wow, charlie. thanks a lot. that made ebria feel a lot happier.
of course, all this is much easier said than done, and it takes lots of practice to find the right words, the best words to use under the circumstances. what are some of the things you could say to a child to help internalize their ability to share from the heart instead of because we told them to? we can't even begin to talk about kindness or generosity without introducing the concept of empathy, the ability to sense or feel what another person is feeling. a little empathy can go a long way in teaching children to share from the heart. here are several practical techniques we can use with young children to help them develop empathy. we can foster empathy by encouraging children to assume different roles in their pretend play. we can help them to express their own feelings and encourage them to listen to other people's feelings, too. and we can link one child's feelings to another child's
by reminding them of their own past experiences in similar situations. woman: well, antoine, we'll have to look for someone to set up the bottles for you. let's go see who we can find. what about you, alex? antoine needs a helper. would you like to help him set up the bottles and send the balls back to him? hendrick: helping children feel good about themselves and others is our primary goal in teaching social competency. we can accelerate the process by incorporating the value of helpi and being kind to others into our daily curriculum. and then we ca give some lemonade to our friends. what do you think? is that a good idea? yeah, 'cause i can drink it all up! hendrick: we can start by asking for and accepting child's ofr to help other children and ourselves. what kind of activities can you think of that might lend themselves to such an opportunity? woman: oh, thank you. monica's trying to keep our roads together here. hendrick: there are endless possibilities for ways in which we can ask children
to provide support and assistance, the results of which are that we create a climate whe kindss and generosity are noted, discussed, and highly valued. responding to the needs of children in our group who have disabilities provides excellent opportunities for children to share from the heart. of course, kindness and thoughtful attention is always welcome, but we must always keep in mind that sometimes the kindest thing children can do is to simply include others in their play. man: can you push her this morning? child: i don't want to. ok, marla, he doesn't want to push you right now, ok? hendrick: while empathetic and generous behavior is our goal, just as often we will most certainly encounter much less atactive behavior. nan's fussing at her, and that hurt her feelings. child: uuh. hendrick: youngsters know from their own firsthand experiences that words can hurt and th their verbal behavior, be it name-calling, teasing, excluding another, affects how other people feel.
teachers should discourage these kinds of hurtfulness, too. all children want to be treated fairly, but they don't always understand how to treat others the same way. how do you maintain fairness in your classroom? what do you say? what do yodo? one way to teach fairness is to explain what a particular rule is to a child and how it applies to him as well as to others, emphasizing that his rights will be respected, too. for example, rather than simply saying, "there's no hitting," we can explain, "i won't let anyone hurt you, and i won't let you hurt anyone, either." we can also help children learn to respect others' personal privacy by insisting that children and teachers, too, have the child's permission before taking or handling a personal posseion. child: that doesn't go there, david. woman: "excuse me" is the word we say, and then we ask the person to move.
"excuse me" is a way of letting people know you need to be in that space. we don't need to push them away. i hate ts. this ain't working. woman: if you want to make another choice, there's otr stations open. uh-uh. jeremy, have you looked for some pieces that might fit here? hendrick: children have the right to have their feelings and choices respected, and we havample opportunities to model this throughout the day. as teachers, we should always acknowledge and respect a child's feelings, never insisting that he stop crying or give a hug or say he's sorry when he isn't. remember, a child is never too young to learn how to respect-- themselves and others. woman: let's spread the pieces ou we can try them. we'll each take turns trying them. that way we can finish it together. this is one that takes lots of friends to help. hendrick: notice the behavior in this classroom. how is the teacher encouraging empathy, sharing, and getting along? what do you see her saying and doing that reinforces such behavior?
one thing we can do is focus our teaching on substituting cooperation r competition. children especially love it when an adult has a problem and everyone iencouraged toitch in with their ide and coopere solving it. we can also teach children some useful, nonviolent ways of getting what they want by practicing the art of compromise. help them bargain with each other or make a trade or use something together. "i'll pull you in the wagon while you sit in it," or... "i'll trade you my purple pen for that red one." learning to negotiate is a valuable part of becoming socially competent. let's review the 5 social skills involved in modeling and active teaching. we've learned how to develop empathy in our children... how to think and act more generously... the importance of respect... that it feels good to help other people...
and finally, we've learned the value of cooperation and compromise. this program has looked at many of the steps we can take to promote positive social development during the early years of childhood. ooh! they followed you! . [kiss] hi. hi, sweetie. hendrick: those of us who work with infants and toddler have made a strong commitment to help them develop socially by forming nurturing, responsive relationships and by developing active, responsive communication with each baby. girl: put it in the bathtub. into the bathtub. that's a good idea. you're going to have a bubbleath... hendrick: with the older preschoolers, we've learned the value of modeling and active teachin and how important play can be in developing a child's social skills. $5.00. you've got $5.00? thank you. ok, where are you going to take your greries to now? to my mommy, to my uncle, my sister, my brother. helping children find their way through the maze of social relations
is an enormous task. our job is an important one, and if we approach it with as much care, owledge, and, yes, empathy as we can ster, we can do so much to help the young children in our care become happy, loving people who possess the social skills that can benefit them roughout their lives. i'm joanne hendrick. thanks for joining us. see you next time on the whole child. announcer: in the real world of child care, children, like adults, don't always get along, but there are ways to help children express their aggressive feelings safely, techniques for teaching self-discipline and building inner controls-- next time on the whole child. look, then you're gonna have to share.